Civilian Chaplain Information


Del FarrisDel Farris (left), PRCC Associate Director for Civilian Chaplaincy

God calls many teaching elders to the pulpit ministry; in addition, He calls them to other areas ministries such as international missions, church planting, campus ministries, and others. Chaplain Ministries is another of those calls. The denominations served by the Presbyterian and Reformed Commission on Chaplains and Military Personnel (PRCC), which includes the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC), the Korean American Presbyterian Church (KAPC), the Korean Presbyterian Church in America-Koshin (KPCA), the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA), and the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA), are blessed to have a large number of military and civilian chaplains serving Christ’s Kingdom through Chaplain Ministries and the PRCC. This page is dedicated to the Civilian Chaplain Ministries. We currently have chaplains serving in civilian hospitals, Veteran Affairs hospitals, prisons, retirement homes, hospice facilities, Civil Air patrol squadrons, addiction treatment centers, and several other venues .

If you are a PRCC teaching elder, and are currently serving either as a paid or volunteer chaplain, please let us know by emailing us at ChaplainMinistries@pcanet.org. We would like to add you to our Civilian Chaplain Roster, and keep you informed of information, resources, and training designed to enhance your calling to this vital ministry.

If you are praying about the possibilities of a call to this type of ministry, let us know. You may want to visit the following websites. They often post employment opportunities, as well as residency programs for those who might want to pursue Board Certification, or get some experience in a civilian chaplain ministry:

Board Certification: APC (Association of Professional Chaplains): www.professionalchaplains.org Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
ACPE (The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.) www.acpe.edu
CPSP (College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy) www.cpsp.org
AAPC (American Association of Pastoral Counselors) www.aapc.org
COMISS ( Council on Ministry in Specialized Settings) www.comissnetwork.org

VETERANS
HQS VA Chaplain Service, (301/11C)
Dept. of VA Medical Center
Hampton, VA 23667,
Veterans’ Affairs
757-728-3180
www.chaplain.med.va.gov/chaplain/

STATE PRISON
Department of Corrections:
www.corrections.com

FEDERAL PRISON
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Attention: Chaplaincy Services
320 First Street, N.W.
Washington, DC. 20534
http://www.bop.gov/jobs/index.jsp

If you would like to be on an email distribution list for job openings that come to our attention, please email us at ChaplainMinistries@pcanet.org, and we will send you information as it comes in to us. You may be removed from that distribution list at any time.

Thank you for your heart and interest in Civilian Chaplain Ministries. Please let us know if we can be of any service to you in this area.

In His grace and service,

Del Farris
PRCC Associate Director for Civilian Chaplaincy
Cell Phone: 501-416-1983
dfarris@pcanet.org

Douglas E. Lee 
PRCC Executive Director 

VETERAN AFFAIRS (VA) requires an ecclesiastical endorsement before a minister may be appointed a VA Chaplain unless a waiver is approved. Two years of ministry experience is required prior to being considered for the VA Chaplaincy.  The age requirement is much more relaxed than for the military.

Chaplains work at Veteran Affairs’ medical centers, outpatient clinics, and domiciliaries throughout the United States.  They minister to patients and staff.  They address religious, spiritual, moral and ethical problems for the patient. They are often called upon to minister to the newly admitted, pre-operative and post-op patients, the critically ill and the families concerned.

Information concerning the VA Chaplaincy may be obtained at Web-site: www.chaplain.med.va.gov/chaplain or by contacting the VA Chaplain Service:

HQS VA Chaplain Service, (301/11C)
Dept. of VA Medical Center
Hampton, VA 23667
757-728-3180/7069

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:

  • Master of Divinity or equivalent education.

  • 2 units of clinical education.

  • Ecclesiastical endorsement.

  • Citizen of the United States.

.     ADVANTAGES:

  • Excellent work environment with unlimited ministry opportunities.

  • Good vacation benefits.

  • Educational opportunities.

  • Excellent salary and retirement benefits.

  • Medical and dental care offered.

  • Low-cost term life insurance.

Click here for VA Application Information

STATE AND FEDERAL PRISON CHAPLAINCY: To obtain an appointment as a chaplain with state and/or federal prisons, the applicant must obtain an ecclesiastical endorsement.  (Application procedures with the PRCC are same as mentioned earlier)

      PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Licensed and ordained.

  • A member in good standing of a denominational presbytery.

  • Theological education as required by the denomination.

  • In the state of Ohio, a minimum of one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is required four units are preferred.

  • Federal Prison:  Ordinarily an initial appointment must be made prior to one’s 37th birthday.  Exceptions are made on an individual basis.

  • State Prison:  Varies by state.  See web site.

  • Experience requirements:  two years of ministry experience.  Waivers are considered on an individual basis.

  • Additional information is available at web site: www.bop.gov. (link) Chaplain Services or write to:  Federal Bureau of Prisons, ATTN: Chaplaincy Services, 320 First Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20534.

  • State prison chaplaincy:  www.corrections.com .  The web site has a link to each state (alphabetical), Dept. of Corrections. On each web page a posting of available positions is listed.

      ADVANTAGES:

  • Freedom to develop liturgical and educational programming.

  • Competitive salary and benefits package.

  • Training, in-service and continuing education leave provided.

  • Sick leave, low-cost health insurance, paid vacation.

  • Endless ministry opportunities to witness to many who are open to the Gospel (staff and inmates).  Chaplains communicate a sense of dignity, value, worth and acceptance to the inmates, encouraging and teaching them to grow in the faith.

  • Retirement:  A chaplain may retire with full benefits after 20 years of service and age 50 or at any age with 25 years of service.  Mandatory retirement occurs at age 57.

CIVILIAN HOSPITAL AND RETIREMENT CENTERS, LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, HOSPICES:  In some cases, civilian hospitals, retirement centers, law enforcement agencies and hospices require an ecclesiastical endorsement.  Those applying for chaplain positions in these organizations may contact the Administrative Assistant or Executive Director for information concerning requirements and endorsement.